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2010’S THE EXPENDABLES IS A BULLET RIDDEN, EXPLOSION FILLED, MAGNIFICENT SEVEN STYLE ACTION MOVIE WITH AN ALL-STAR CAST THATS A THROW BACK TO THE 1980’S HEYDAY OF THESE TYPES OF FILMS. NOW WITH THAT BEING SAID THIS IS A MOVIE THAT WILL NEVER BE CONSIDERED A CAR MOVIE BY ANYONES STANDARDS BUT LETS TAKE A LITTLE BIT OF A CLOSER LOOK. ASK ANY GEARHEAD WHAT THEY REMEMBER MOST ABOUT THIS MOVIE AND STALLONE’S 55′ FORD F-100 WILL BE THE FIRST THING OUT OF THEIR MOUTH.

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WHAT STARTS WITH STALLONE AND JET LI CRUISING DOWN THE ROAD DISCUSSING THEIR WORKING RELATIONSHIP QUICKLY CHANGES WHEN A GROUP OF BADDIES HEADED BY DOLPH LUNDGREN AMBUSHES THEM AT A TRAFFIC LIGHT. NARROWLY ESCAPING THANKS TO BULLETPROOF GLASS AND PLATING (HANDY THING TO HAVE WHEN YOU’RE A MERCENARY) STALLONE LETS THE PONIES UNDER THE HOOD DO A LITTLE TALKING.

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WHAT ENTAILS IS A GAME OF CAT AND MOUSE BETWEEN A FORD BRONCO (O.J. WOULD BE SO PROUD) DRIVEN BY LUNDGREN AND SLY’S WICKED BLACK 55′. MOVING THRU PARKING LOTS AND BACK OUT INTO THE OPEN ROAD, THE CHASE ITSELF CLOCKS IN AT JUST UNDER THREE MINUTES LONG. BUT IT’S A THRILL RIDE ALL THE WAY WITH JET LI JUMPING INTO THE BACK OF THE F-100 AND TRADING GUNFIRE WITH LUNDGRENS GANG. A SEMI AND A WELL TIMED GARBAGE TRUCK BOTH PLAY A PART IN THIS EXTREME CASE OF ROAD RAGE THAT FINALLY ENDS IN AN ABANDONED WAREHOUSE WITH BOTH LEADS PLAYING CHICKEN WITH THEIR RESPECTIVE VEHICLES.

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ALL IN ALL A FUN LITTLE CHASE THAT BENEFITS FROM THE STAR POWER INVOLVED AND NEW AGE SURROUND SOUND WHERE YOU CAN REALLY HEAR THAT FORD V8 ROAR. DEFINITELY WORTH CHECKING OUT ESPECIALLY IF YOU’VE NEVER SEEN IT BEFORE. GOOD STUFF HERE.

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“Cut to the Chase” is a segment I’ll be running here from time to time. It’ll be based around movies that aren’t necessarily car movies by definition, but contain a significant chase or chases none the less. Instead of a full blown movie review I will be focusing strictly on the whos, whats, wheres and whys of the chase and what makes it worth watching. Because lets face it, as a car guy most movies have way too much plot getting in the way of the chases for my liking. That’s right that means all killer, no filler as I bring you the greatest races, chases and crashes ever commited to the big (or small) screen. Stay tuned the first one of these is due to arrive soon.

The Fate of the Furious Trailer

All right I know I missed posting about the debut trailer for the newest entry in the “Fast” Franchise aptly titled “The Fate of the Furious”. With just getting the blog back up and running you’ll have to pardon me for being a little late to the party. Never the less here it is and my comments and thoughts are below.

First off I’ll be honest with you. I was very skeptical of how this franchise could continue and find new ground to cover. Considering the core “family” has been considerably dwindled down in the last few movies due to events both real and movie related, I was concerned that they would force new characters on us that wouldn’t feel natural just to “rebuild” the team. What could they do to keep things fresh and moving along eight movies in? After seeing this trailer all of my fears and concerns have been laid to rest. I was hooked after seeing this. It looks chock full of action, comedy and plenty of vehicular warfare to wet your appetite for high octane fun. But Dom as a bad guy? Deckard joining the team? Hobbs in jail? All three concepts seem far fetched given the previous 7 movies but they make perfect sense at the same time. I’m sure we’ll find out in due time that Dom was secretly planted by Kurt Russells character as a way of bringing down the big bad while ultimately looking for a way to protect his family (government protection/immunity maybe) or something even crazier but until then I’m ready to go along for the ride. The Fate of the Furious rolls into theaters April 14.

 

FURIOUS 7 BECOMES 4TH HIGHEST GROSSING MOVIE OF ALL TIME

furious-7suitYup you read it right folks.  Furious 7 knocked Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 out of it’s spot to claim bragging rights as the fourth highest grossing movie of all time.  Not bad for a franchise that had pretty humble beginnings almost 15 years ago.  It stands a pretty fair shot of claiming number three on the list if it can hang on long enough to dethrone 2012’s The Avengers.  Unfortunately for Furious 7 the sequel to that very movie is released this weekend and will surely end Vin and his crew’s run at the top of the box office.  Only time will tell if the Avenger’s Age of Ultron will do as much business as it’s predecessor or as Furious 7.  In the mean time the Fast crew should all be proud and take a bow for what they’ve accomplished, and all us car guys (and gals) can smile and say that our “little franchise” has made it to hallowed ground.

FINAL MAD MAX: FURY ROAD TRAILER ONLINE

The final Mad Max: Fury Road trailer made its debut just a couple of days ago and having seen it I had to make it available here for all to see.  I’m really looking forward to this movie and I’m starting to worry.  I worry because I’m looking a little to forward to it, worried that it may not be able to live up to the hype I’m giving it.  I hope this isn’t the case but I guess I’ll have to wait two more weeks to find out.  Until then enjoy the new preview:

 

MAD MAX: FURY ROAD MAKES A PLAY FOR THE GREATEST CAR CHASE EVER

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Here’s an article I came across today and couldn’t help but repost.  It’s from the website Automobile and just got me even more amped up for this movie.  Enjoy:

 

When’s the last time you saw a truly epic car chase in a movie? No, not the mostly computer-generated scenes from the “Fast & Furious” series but rather a classic in the spirit of John Frankenheimer’s “Ronin”?
George Miller, the creator and director of the “Mad Max” movies, is staking his reputation and likely a $100 million-plus budget on a movie that is almost entirely a car chase. Miller says his new film, “Mad Max: Fury Road,” which hits theaters May 15, begins with a chase that doesn’t end until the movie does. The chase is the movie.
“Ronin” was all Audis, Peugeots, and Benzes barreling through France. The vehicles of Miller’s “Fury Road” are far different—dozens of bizarre and reimagined muscle cars and rat rods bashing their way through a barren desert wasteland. There is very little in the way of dialogue. The nonstop four-wheeled action does most of the talking.
Even better, the cars, stunts, and crashes are real. Miller has shot CGI films before (bizarrely, he’s also behind both “Babe: Pig in the City” and “Happy Feet”), but this wasn’t one of them. In order to execute his vision for the film, some 150 vehicles were built in all. By the end, only one survived.
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“Fury Road” is a “reboot” of the “Mad Max” franchise, movie speak for “doing whatever the hell we want.” And what Miller wanted was the same grim mood and the theme of rampaging hooligans out for gas and blood that punctuated the previous films. But this time he jettisoned Mel Gibson for a younger actor (Tom Hardy from “The Dark Knight Rises”) and added a crew of lithesome ladies headed up by a buzz-cut Charlize Theron. Most important, Max’s Australian-made Ford Falcon XB GT coupe—the famed Interceptor—also makes a return, as does a general reliance on cars and trucks from the 1950s to the 1970s.
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Miller is Australian and made the first three films in his home country. The original, “Mad Max,” released in 1979, was a straight-up indie film shot for around $350,000. The follow-up, “The Road Warrior,” has become the classic you think of when you think of “Mad Max.” In essence it was a Western recast as a postapocalyptic tale, with hot rods and motorcycles replacing horses and a big-rig tanker serving as a speeding steam train.
But by the third installment, “Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome,” the Aussie indie spirit had gone Hollywood. The vehicles took a back seat to a gladiator cage and Tina Turner’s crazy 1980s hairdo. No wonder it was the last “Mad Max” flick for 30 years.
This time, Miller didn’t write a script. Rather, he and his collaborators created storyboards—thousands of drawings that serve as a testament to the all-action movie. The original vehicle concepts were especially fantastical, including a 747 jumbo jet welded to a train, pulled by a half-dozen semitrailers. Awesome, surely, but it would have made little sense in a world where gas is precious.
The design of the real-world vehicles fell to the film’s production designer, a gearhead named Colin Gibson. “We tried to take the flavor and coolness of those ideas but make them real and believable,” Gibson says. “The supervising stunt coordinator, Guy Norris, and I were desperate to cling to physics.” What they wanted to avoid was the “Fast & Furious” fantasy. “Lovable as those films are, you can’t drag an 8-ton safe between two cars and then turn a corner.”
And so began a yearlong construction of the movie’s 88 character vehicles. With duplicates, they made closer to 150, says Gibson.
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The results are fabulous. They include the main villain’s ride, dubbed the Gigahorse, which is actually two 1959 Cadillac Coupe de Villes mounted on top of each other. “We built a chassis to suit, added two big-block V-8s connected to a planetary gear, special cooling, and a handmade gearbox. Something for the real motor freak,” says Gibson. Other rides include a 1940s Dodge body married to the chassis of a monster truck—in one stunt it actually jumps over a moving big-rig tanker—and a hot rod covered in spikes. (That zany vehicle was surely influenced by a car seen in another early Aussie film, 1974’s “The Cars That Ate Paris.” Look up the YouTube trailer for a laugh.)
“Fury Road” is set in the near future, so why the reliance on old cars? Says Gibson: “If there’s going to be a war, you want real steel to protect you. And at the end of world, you can’t fix a computer. What would you salvage, a Corolla or a 1973 Falcon?”
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Norris was in charge of all of the stunts that took place during 10 months of preproduction and shooting in the desert environs of the southern African country of Namibia and directed many of the action sequences as a unit director. “I was 21 during the filming of the ‘Road Warrior,’ and I turned 50 during ‘Fury Road,’ ” says Norris. “I doubled as Max during the crash of the Ford Falcon in the ‘Road Warrior,’ and here I was all those years later, sitting in essentially the same vehicle, and rolled it again.
“Everything we did on ‘Road Warrior’ was real, as there was no other choice,” Norris says. “At the time we weren’t really sure what we were making. But then it came out and hit a nerve with fans of car and action films. Since then, it’s inspired a lot of other vehicle films.”
But the art of car stunts has waned as the reliance on computer graphics has grown. And that was a direction the filmmakers largely didn’t want to take. (There’s a monumental desert storm that is too huge to be anything but CGI.) Instead, Norris’ team relied on a camera crane mounted to a trick Toyota truck, often driving at 100 mph and swerving among the other vehicles as the crane did 360-degree turns. “We put the camera inches away from other cars in places you could never get it before.”
Some sequences involved more than 100 trucks, cars, and bikes converging in a mad armada. Norris refers to it as dance choreography with each vehicle moving to a different beat. “We drove every crazy vehicle that Colin Gibson designed,” he says. “Those are all real people on real vehicles, and we pretty much crashed every single one of them.
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“I hope it reinvigorates doing stunts for real because the audience can feel that. It’s more emotional. And our guys were in honest jeopardy: no crash helmets, no body protection, everyone was bare-chested.” Thankfully, there weren’t any major calamities despite all the vehicular mayhem.
Norris says many films will prepare months for a single crash. “We crashed two or three cars every single day; we’d crash something in the beginning of day, at lunchtime, and in the afternoon,” he says. “For a red-blooded stuntman, every day was pretty much Christmas.”
As for Gibson, when asked if the wholesale destruction of his concepts broke his heart, he’s firm. “Absolutely not,” he says. “You don’t make a Frankenstein and not expect that the villagers will attack you with pitchforks. The cars were built for the purpose of mayhem, and mayhem they got. In the story, the only vehicle that makes it back is the Gigahorse. The others meet a glorious, if pandemonious, death.”